This article presents silence as a cognitive tool to comprehend the environment. Two dimensions of silence are addressed: a natural mechanism and human beings' social and cultural construction. There is a link between these two dimensions because, on the one hand, agents' cognitive strategies based on silence influence how meanings and uses of silence have been constructed. The meanings of silence we use are contextual shapers of silence-based cognitive strategies. Silence is analyzed as a resource for coping with ambiguity: situations (...) perceived as uncertain provoke doubt and confusion because they can be understood differently or suggest different interpretations. These situations can occur in the face of epistemic disruption. The consequence is a transfer of the ambiguity property of these situations to the usual ways of relating to the world and people. The cognitive approach is based here on a semiotic-hermeneutic interpretation of silence from a phenomenological perspective. This accounts for a paradox: even if silence does not exist (the world is acoustic), it is real. The silence experience is a non-inferential cognitive capacity located at the base of perception: a stimulus that suggests a particular gesture as an action different from the usual one to deal with the environment. (shrink)
Design has usually been linked to art and applied in scenarios related to everyday life. Even when design has, on occasion, made its way into the world of academia, it has always been closely linked to art and scenarios related everyday life. At last, however, the idea of design has reached the field of epistemology: an area within the very heart of philosophy that has always focused, in theory, on the foundations of knowledge. Consequently, design is being studied from different (...) approaches interested in the foundation of knowledge, theoretical and practical. This is one of the reasons why abduction and pragmatism have been considered relevant from a design perspective. This paper first shows the main features of abduction and pragmatism, describes their evolution and considers their mutual implications. Second, the epistemology of design is analysed considering its most relevant characteristics. Third, the connection between abduction and, on the one hand, pragmatism and, on the other, design epistemology is addressed. Finally, the role of abductive inference in grounding a real epistemology for design theory from the naturalised cognitive perspective of abduction is outlined. The central proposition is that this approach is essential as a methodological innovation, as it allows us to analyse both the inquiry process and the design process as interdependent when dealing with practical problems of a social and cultural nature. This approach allows us to analyse how human actions determine changes in the theoretical framework from which we make our inquiry. In short, the world is an open-ended project that humans design through our daily inquiry. (shrink)
One of the central debates in the philosophy of language is that between defenders of the causal-historical and descriptivist theories of reference. Most philosophers involved in the debate support one or the other of the theories. Building on recent experimental work in semantics, we argue that there is a sense in which both theories are correct. In particular, we defend the view that natural kind terms can sometimes take on a causal-historical reading and at other times take on a descriptivist (...) reading. The meaning will shift depending on the conversational setting. The theoretical view has roots in work by Kitcher. We present some original experiments that support the thesis. (shrink)
Many parts of the contemporary philosophical debate have been built on the radicalization of conclusions derived from the acceptance of a certain set of classical dichotomies. It also discusses how pragmatism and abduction are currently presented to solve the problems arising from these dichotomies. For this reason, the efforts of this article have been directed to analyze the impact of this fact on the philosophy of science and logic. The starting point is that accepting abduction implies, in many ways, accepting (...) the foundations of pragmatism. Also, that the analysis of such problems from pragmatism and the particular use of abduction dissolve the dichotomies and, with it, also modify the philosophical problems related to them. Therefore, I propose to understand abduction as the right conceptual device to review the problems and debates of the twentieth century’s epistemology from a pragmatic perspective. In doing so, the aim is to propose that the current use of abduction in contemporary debates may imply a change of the philosophical perspective. (shrink)
People generally accept that there is causation by omission—that the omission of some events cause some related events. But this acceptance elicits the selection problem, or the difficulty of explaining the selection of a particular omissive cause or class of causes from the causal conditions. Some theorists contend that dependence theories of causation cannot resolve this problem. In this paper, we argue that the appeal to norms adequately resolves the selection problem for dependence theories, and we provide novel experimental evidence (...) for it. (shrink)
Do you know you are not being massively deceived by an evil demon? That is a familiar skeptical challenge. Less familiar is this question: How do you have a conception of knowledge on which the evil demon constitutes a prima facie challenge? Recently several philosophers have suggested that our responses to skeptical scenarios can be explained in terms of heuristics and biases. We offer an alternative explanation, based in learning theory. We argue that, given the evidence available to the learner, (...) it would be rational for the learner to infer an infallibilist conception of knowledge. (shrink)
People’s causal judgments are susceptible to the action effect, whereby they judge actions to be more causal than inactions. We offer a new explanation for this effect, the counterfactual explanation: people judge actions to be more causal than inactions because they are more inclined to consider the counterfactual alternatives to actions than to consider counterfactual alternatives to inactions. Experiment 1a conceptually replicates the original action effect for causal judgments. Experiment 1b confirms a novel prediction of the new explanation, the reverse (...) action effect, in which people judge inactions to be more causal than actions in overdetermination cases. Experiment 2 directly compares the two effects in joint-causation and overdetermination scenarios and conceptually replicates them with new scenarios. Taken together, these studies provide support for the new counterfactual explanation for the action effect in causal judgment. (shrink)
Experimental philosophers have gathered impressive evidence for the surprising conclusion that philosophers' intuitions are out of step with those of the folk. As a result, many argue that philosophers' intuitions are unreliable. Focusing on the Knobe Effect, a leading finding of experimental philosophy, we defend traditional philosophy against this conclusion. Our key premise relies on experiments we conducted which indicate that judgments of the folk elicited under higher quality cognitive or epistemic conditions are more likely to resemble those of the (...) philosopher. We end by showing how our experimental findings can help us better understand the Knobe Effect. (shrink)
This volume presents an entirely new translation of Eberhard Jungel's Gottes Sein ist im Werden, published twenty-five years ago as The Doctrine of the Trinity, a brilliant interpretation of Karl Barth's exposition of God's being. This work by Jungel is central to fully appreciating Barth's thought, and it remains of enduring significance for constructive trinitarian theology. Building on a paraphrase of Barth's discussion of the Trinity in Church Dogmatics, Jungel first explores God's being as "self-revelation" -- for Barth the only (...) possible starting point for talk about God. Jungel goes on to look at God's being-as-object, illuminated by Barth's understanding of divine objectivity in relation to human subjectivity. The book concludes with a discussion of the ontological implications of God's self-manifestation at the cross. Along with his new translation of Jungel's work, John Webster provides a substantial new introduction, and he has also incorporated additional material from the 1975 German edition not previously available in English. (shrink)
What role does language play in the process of building worldviews? To address this question, in the first section of this paper we will clarify what we mean by worldviews and how they differ, in our perspective, from cosmovisions. In a nutshell, we define worldviews as the biological interpretations agents create of the world around them and cosmovision the more general cultural-based reflections on it. After presenting our definition for worldview, we will also present the multi-shaped viewpoint that frames our (...) analysis, adopting three concepts that can help us explain how agents construct and develop their worldviews: saliences, pregnances, and abduction. While the notions of saliences and pregnances will explain how agents recognize anomalies in their worldview, the concept of abduction will help us discuss how they can learn to approach, explain, and use these anomalies to get new skills and abilities. This other point will lead us to discuss the role of language in this process, which will be describe as an artifact that permits the agent to use abduction to “normalize” and exploit anomalies, being now the ultimate artifact to build, develop, and update their worldviews. (shrink)
Sometimes two expressions in a discourse can be about the same thing in a way that makes that very fact evident to the participants. Consider, for example, 'he' and 'John' in 'John went to the store and he bought some milk'. Let us call this 'de jure' coreference. Other times, coreference is 'de facto' as with 'Mark Twain' and 'Samuel Clemens' in a sincere use of 'Mark Twain is not Samuel Clemens'. Here, agents can understand the speech without knowing that (...) the names refer to the same person. After surveying many available linguistic and pragmatic tools (intentions to corefer, presuppositions, meanings, indexing, discourse referents, binding etc.) I conclude that we must posit a new semantic primitive to account for de jure coreference. (shrink)
Recently, some philosophers have defended the idea that knowledge is an interest-relative notion. According to this thesis, whether an agent knows P may depend on the practical costs of her being wrong about P. This perspective marks a radical departure from traditional accounts that take knowledge to be a purely intellectual concept. I think there is much to say on behalf of the interest-relative notion. In this paper, I report on some new evidence which strongly suggests that ordinary people’s attributions (...) of knowledge are in fact sensitive to practical interests. This is noteworthy because recent experiments have been interpreted by many to support the opposite conclusion. I also argue that the new results support an invariantist but interest-relativist account of knowledge, a thesis known as Interest Relative Invariantism (IRI). I do not make the case here that IRI gives us the very best explanation of the results presented here. Any such attempt would require an in-depth survey of the last few decades of work in epistemology. I only want to argue here that IRI gives us a simple and elegant explanation of the new data, and that the same cannot be said about traditional contextualism, a leading competitor to IRI. (shrink)
Well-known in Germany for its insightful contribution to the ongoing discussion among theologians today about the being of God, this creative effort by Professor Jüngel, now in translation, aims at recovering an authentically trinitarian statement of the issue, structured along the lines of Karl Barth's discussion in "Church dogmatics".
In this paper I survey some recent developments in experimental philosophy and discuss their bearing on two leading theories in epistemology: Contextualism and Interest Relative Invariantism. In the first part of the paper, I survey some general issues of how experimental philosophy may be relevant to assessing contextualism and IRI. In the second part, I discuss and critique some of the recent experimental work.
I develop a cognitive account of how humans make skeptical judgments (of the form “X does not know p”). In my view, these judgments are produced by a special purpose metacognitive "skeptical" mechanism which monitors our reasoning for hasty or overly risky assumptions. I argue that this mechanism is modular and shaped by natural selection. The explanation for why the mechanism is adaptive essentially relies on an internalized principle connecting knowledge and action, a principle central to pragmatic encroachment theories. I (...) end the paper by sketching how we can use the account I develop here to respond to the skeptic. (shrink)
I argue that truth is relative (in the sense recently defended by some prominent analytical philosophers) by focusing on some semantic issues raised by Einstein's theory of relativity together with our ordinary attributions of truth.
In this paper, I propose and defend a pair of necessary conditions on evidence-based knowledge which bear resemblance to the troubled sensitivity principles defended in the philosophical literature. We can think of the traditional principles as simple but inaccurate approximations of the new proposals. Insofar as the old principles are intuitive and used in scientific and philosophical contexts, but are plausibly false, there’s a real need to develop precise and correct formulations. These new renditions turned out to be more cautious, (...) so they won’t be able to do everything the old principled promised they could. For example, they respect closure for knowledge. But these sober formulations, or something like them, might be the best that we can do with respect to sensitivity. And there’s value in understanding the limits to these types of principles. (shrink)
Suppose that we repair a wooden ship by replacing its planks one by one with new ones while at the same time reconstructing it using the discarded planks. Some defenders of vague or indeterminate identity claim that: (1) although the reconstructed ship is distinct from the repaired ship, it is indeterminate whether the original ship is the reconstructed ship and indeterminate whether it is the repaired ship, and (2) the indeterminacy is due to the world and not just an imprecision (...) in the language used to describe the situation. I argue that such a description is incoherent. The argument has two features. First, it differs in spirit from Gareth Evans's more general famous proof against the possibility of indeterminate identity. This is because I rely on facts regarding counting and sets. Second, I focus on Terence Parsons's recent defence of indeterminate identity. I argue that his attempts at making sense of counting objects involving indeterminate identities fail on technical and philosophical grounds. (shrink)
This book puts forward a novel, unified cognitive account of skeptical doubt. Historically, most philosophers have tried to tackle this difficult topic by directly arguing that skeptical doubt is false. But N. Ángel Pinillos does something different. He begins by trying to uncover the hidden mental rule which, for better or worse, motivates our skeptical inclinations. He then gives an account of the broader cognitive purpose of having and applying this rule. Based on these ideas, he shows how we (...) can give a new response to the traditional problem of global skepticism. He also argues that philosophical skepticism is not just something that comes up during philosophical reflection, as David Hume, Charles Sanders Peirce and other philosophers have urged. Instead, it is of great practical significance. The rule which produces skepticism may itself be operative in certain pathologies such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, in creative endeavors, and in conspiratorial thinking. The rule can also explain some of our reluctance to trust statistical evidence, especially in legal settings. More broadly, this volume aims to breathe new life into a classic problem in philosophy by tackling it from a new perspective and exploring new areas of application. The book will be of interest to philosophers, psychologists and anyone interested in the human capacity to doubt and to question our beliefs. (shrink)
Following Kit Fine (2007), we can say that the de jure pair represent the referent as the same while the second one does not do so. There are roughly three ways of capturing this difference. One could say that de jure coreference between two expression occurrences happen because (a) the occurrences have identical meanings, (b) they have identical syntactic properties, or (c) they enter into a semantic relation not grounded in identity of meaning or syntax. In what follows, I give (...) some reason to think that de jure coreference is not a transitive relation. As a consequence, we can rule out (a) and (b) just on these grounds alone (since identity is a transitive relation). (c) then looks promising. I argue that this gives further support for a relationist semantics along the lines of what Kit Fine has proposed. (shrink)
La relacion entre la etica y la medicina tiene una larga historia y tradicion que se puede remontar hasta la Grecia, China e India clasicas. La relacion entre ambas disciplinas es muy intensa porque la pregunta etica sobre el que debo hacer se aplica sobre la pregunta medica sobre que es mejor para la salud y el bienestar de una persona. Los textos que componen este libro tienen como hilo conductor el principio de autonomia. Este principio implica que las elecciones (...) individuales de planes de vida son valiosas y, por lo tanto, el Estado no debe interferir en ellas (dimension negativa) y debe disenar instituciones que faciliten la persecucion individual de estos planes de vida (dimension positiva). En los textos se observa que este enfoque eminentemente subjetivo se enfrenta a un enfoque colectivo (dimension relacional) que recuerda que las decisiones individuales se adoptan y repercuten positiva y negativamente en un entorno social. Este enfrentamiento permitiria observar que las elecciones individuales solo tienen un valor prima facie, pudiendose en algunos justificar limites mas amplios. (shrink)
The research project of common sense or folk behavior for the specific purposes of advancing epistemology has quickly become one of the largest in experimental philosophy. This chapter explains some of this work as it relates to two positions in epistemology: contextualism and interest relative invariantism (IRI). Naturally, questions arise about the relevance of folk behavior to debates in epistemology. First, there is the dialectical issue concerning the extent to which epistemologists have in fact relied on ordinary behavior in defending (...) their theories. Second, in the cases where epistemologists have made such appeals, people can ask if they have been correct in doing so. And third, assuming correctness in this regard, there is a question about which experimental methods, if any, are pertinent for understanding folk behavior. It is taken takes for granted that epistemologists appeal to ordinary usage and that their doing so in fact informs epistemology. (shrink)